IHeartMedia Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to more than halve its $20 billion in debt.
The company said it reached the agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt that would restructure its balance sheet by transferring 94 percent of the stock in the reorganized company to its lenders.
IHeartMedia has struggled with debt that was taken on to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout in 2008 of what was then Clear Channel Communications Inc. That deal led by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP closed just as a financial crisis began to undermine the U.S. economy.
In the years that followed, the operator of 849 radio stations has faced intensifying competition for advertisers and listeners from internet platforms such as music streaming services.
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